CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — Al Gaspar, former president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), died Nov. 25.
During his 2000-04 term at the AAIA — the predecessor to the Auto Care Association (ACA) — he spearheaded a fundraising campaign to build the $5 million Aftermarket Education Center building at Northwood University in Midland, Mich.
He also led several member companies in raising funds to research the viability of consumer education as a solution to capture a share of the $70 billion in unperformed vehicle maintenance, which validated the need for and creation of the association's "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign, according to the ACA.
"Al was one of the most respected and revered individuals in the business," said ACA President and CEO Bill Hanvey. "When Al walked into a meeting room, you knew it — he had a presence that commanded attention."
Prior to becoming president and CEO of AAIA, he was president of the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association for five years following three terms as chairman of the board of the association.
He also was executive vice president of McKay Chemical Co., a division of Blue Coral; vice president, consumer sales, for Wynn Oil Co.; and vice president, sales and marketing worldwide operations, for Bardahl Manufacturing Corp.
He started his career with a 14-year stint at Standard Oil Corp. in San Francisco.
Mr. Gaspar was a recipient of numerous recognitions, including AAIA Aftermarket Executive of the Year and the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame.
He served on a number of committees and boards, including the board of trustees of the Automotive Foundation for the Aftermarket and vice president of the board for the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).
Mr. Gaspar is survived by his wife Timmi; son Chris; daughter Angela; and two grandchildren.
Donations in Mr. Gaspar's name can be made to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation.